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What is being done about the lack of sufficient numbers of mental health professionals willing to work with the severely mentally ill, including children?

Joann Turner
Davis, California

Answered by Alex Beam:
Here I can only speculate, and say: very little. Nursing, not unlike primary and secondary school teaching, isn't particularly well paid. Psychiatric nursing is not the most highly paid specialty, nor for that matter the most desirable. I have friends in nurses' unions, but I'm not aware of any of the major mental hospitals here (in the Boston area) having a unionized staff.

Social workers, generally speaking, are even less well paid. And, as I wrote to a previous questioner, money is moving OUT of mental health services right now, not in. So I don't see too much cause for hope in the future.

Alex Beam

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